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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Italy

RIFF reaches its 18th year

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- From 15 to 22 November, the Independent Film Festival is returning to Rome with 90 films – of which 15 world premieres and 10 European premieres – and Focus sessions on both Spain and the Ukraine

RIFF reaches its 18th year
Affittasi vita by Stefano Usardi

A documentary honing in on the diva from La Dolce Vita Anita Ekberg (Ciao Anita), another spotlighting one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century Peter Lindbergh - Women’s Stories [+see also:
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, and The World According to Amazon, which focuses on the global e-commerce platform’s founder Jeff Bezos, are among the most hotly anticipated titles screening at the RIFF - Rome Independent Film Festival, whose 18th edition is scheduled to run from 15 to 22 November at Rome’s Nuovo Cinema Aquila multiplex. In all, 90 films, 15 world premieres, 10 European premieres and over 60 Italian premieres, both feature films and documentaries, will be offered up to audiences of this international festival celebrating independent film, which is directed by Fabrizio Ferrari and which will open this year with the Sundance award-winning work Nancy, by Christina Choe.

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Amongst the 9 titles battling it out in the International Feature Film Competition, we find By a Sharp Knife [+see also:
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, coming courtesy of Slovakia’s Teodor Kuhn and telling the tale of a father who’s lost his son, and Negative Numbers [+see also:
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interview: Uta Beria
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by Georgian director Uta Beria, which revolves around a post-Soviet juvenile detention centre, not to mention Antonella Sudasassi’s Hormigas [+see also:
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and Jayro Bustamante’s Tremors [+see also:
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interview: Jayro Bustamante
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. The Italian films set to premiere at the festival, meanwhile, are Affittasi vita by Stefano Usardi, which sees Massimiliano Varrese in the shoes of an artist who’s struggling to find inspiration and who boasts some very eccentric neighbours, and Tensione superficiale by Giovanni Aloi, following a young, Italian mother who decides to sell her body part-time in Austria. Set to be screened out of competition, meanwhile, is the Italian-Russian co-production Di tutti i colori by Max Nadari, a comedy set in the world of fashion starring Nino Frassica, Alessandro Borghi and Giancarlo Giannini.

Standing tall in the Italian Documentaries section are Pastrone! [+see also:
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by Lorenzo De Nicola, which focuses on silent film director Giovanni Pastrone, Moby Dick o il Teatro dei Venti by Raffaele Manco, which takes in the epic staging of Herman Melville’s masterpiece in Modena, and Un uomo deve essere forte, an LGBTQ work by Ilaria Ciavattini and Elsi Perino set in the provinces of northern Italy, which brings a touching story of transition to the big screen. Amongst the International Documentaries, we find the family saga Madame [+see also:
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by Swiss filmmaker Stéphane Riethauser - the winner of the Jury Award at Madrid’s Documentary Festival - and the poetic Mr. Dimitris and Mrs. Dimitrula by Greek’s Tzeli Hadjidimitriou, which examines what it means to be different in a traditional community. The latter three titles will join a number of other works in the LGBT Focus “Love & Pride Day – The value of diversity”.

Special Events on the agenda include “New Ukrainian cinema: Taking inspiration from reality”, featuring 6 films by young Ukrainian directors, which show diversity in their themes and in their means of expression, including the comedy drama The Strayed (Pryputni) by Arkadiy Nepytaliuk - which scooped the Best Direction award in Odessa - and the documentary My Father Is My Mother’s Brother [+see also:
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by Vadym Ilkov. Likewise making a return is “Focus on Spain – Valencian Animation” which will see the Cortoons Gandia Festival and the IVAC – Valencia’s Institute for Culture – present a Special Screening dedicated to animated shorts made in the Valencian Community.

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(Translated from Italian)

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